Highlights from Higher Ed: The Transcript Revolution and a Hard Look at Teaching Soft Skills

Arielle Ahladianakis
Aug 2, 2019

The transcript revolution

High schools across the country are focusing less on letter grades and GPAs and more on qualitative factors that point to student success post-graduation. The Mastery Transcript Consortium, which began in 2017, launched the “mastery transcript” to support this move. The transcript is “an interactive display of students’ work that’s attractive to colleges looking for well-rounded, nonnumerical evaluation of applicants.” Many believe this new document will facilitate a holistic approach to college admissions, giving students the opportunity to “demonstrate more than just academic achievement, but softer, career-applicable skills like leadership and critical thinking.” 

Source: Inside Higher Ed

With badges, colleges take a hard look at teaching soft skills

According to several recent surveys, many employers are struggling to recruit employees who have the soft skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.  Kathleen deLaski, founder and president of Education Design Lab (EDL), may have the solution: badges that document students’ acquired soft skills. Northwest Vista College (NVC) currently uses deLaski’s badges with exercises that are designed to teach students collaboration, creative problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, initiative, intercultural fluency, oral communication and resilience. 

Source: Education Dive

Stepping up to the plate for EMBA admission? It’s a different ballgame than an MBA

Applying to a top tier EMBA (Executive MBA) program can be vastly different than applying to traditional MBA programs, because admissions officers are more likely to look for students with substantial professional work experience. While the average MBA candidate may have 4-5 years of work experience, the EMBA applicant may have as many as 10-20 years, and some schools even have minimum work experience requirements for admission into their EMBA program. Admissions officers also rely heavily on MBA applicants’ undergrad GPAs to determine if they can handle the extensive workload, but this isn’t the case with EMBA. Since EMBA candidates have more work experience, admissions officers focus “more on professional background to assess intellect, relevant knowledge and problem-solving skills.”

Source: Poets & Quants 

Has college gotten too easy?

Public four-year colleges report that college completion rates have risen 10% from the early 1990s to the late 2000s. While the underlying cause of this increase in graduation rate remains a mystery, many theorize possible explanations, some being that college has gotten easier, or high schools are better preparing graduates. This increase raises a larger question: How difficult should college be?

Source: The Atlantic 


Arielle Ahladianakis

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 31,000 programs on more than 1,000 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.